Thanks to the non-linear algorithms that most of our favorite social media platforms have adopted, we see constant glimpses at what we thought the world was going to look like. We see smiling women, POC, LGBTQ members, proudly campaigning for their candidate, posting long Facebook statuses about a better world and sharing their I Voted stickers. It’s turned all of our feeds into sort of a dark reminder of what living in these small spheres can do to our expectations.
As the days go on, and you wake up and maybe feel slightly better, some of the pain worn off, the algorithms are reminding you of what made you so upset to begin with. You see how the people around you are planning to be affected by the new presidency. Some people are upset at the algorithmic timelines for reminding us of the pain of the past few days, but others are using it to make sure that they don’t become complacent in their new world.
Social media was probably the most important tool in this election, in one way or another. It was a way for people to unite and rally together, but in a lot of instances, it was used to alienate people and make them feel like the “other” and that they had no place in other communities. This election showed us how strong the tool can be to bring people together, but it also showed us how dangerous it was to create those bubbles to the point that people lose sight of their fellow American, because it’s so easy to cultivate your feed and see what you want to.
Maybe this algorithmic timelines are a good thing. Maybe they’ll show us that we can’t always control the outcome, and that seeing things that hurt, or that we don’t agree with, are important for our development and growth. Together.